Artemis 1 virtual reality experience aims to bring epic NASA moon launch to you

artemis 1 rocket lifting off from launch pad in illustration
An artist's depiction of what the Artemis 1 launch will look like. (Image credit: NASA)

It's time for virtual reality space fans to start their engines.

A new Oculus Quest and VR experience called "Artemis Ascending" will provide an immersive view of the launch pad when NASA's historic Artemis 1 mission lifts off for the moon, no earlier than Aug. 29.

There are lots of ways you can participate in the Artemis Ascending livestream: at Horizon Worlds, in Facebook 360 on the Space Explorers page, and through partners that the company Felix & Paul Studios will release later on its website. Felix & Paul has pledged to make the experience accessible via telecommunications providers, as well as a set of domes and planetariums around the world.

Related: NASA's Artemis 1 moon mission: Live updates
More: NASA's Artemis 1 moon mission explained in photos 

The goal is to feel the roar of NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) megarocket on its debut mission as it lifts the Orion spacecraft on a journey to the moon. Felix & Paul Studios will put cameras around the launch pad area in zones that are too close for humans to enjoy, meaning you'll get to be even closer than any spectators at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Oculus Quest 2 128 GB: $399.99 at Amazon

Oculus Quest 2 128 GB: $399.99 at Amazon

Buy our favorite VR headset on Amazon and dive into the metaverse. The Oculus Quest 2 is a fantastic standalone VR headset, with exclusive games like Resident Evil 4 VR.

A Felix & Paul senior executive drew parallels with the way the public experienced the Apollo missions, which placed a dozen humans on the moon between 1969 and 1972. Broadcasting innovations of the era include live coverage from the surface of the moon, along with sending footage from small spacecraft in which the astronauts were traveling.

"The Apollo missions were televised worldwide in black and white, but the Artemis generation will experience the upcoming moon missions, and future Mars missions, in an immersive and experiential way," Felix Lajeunesse, co-founder and creative director of Felix & Paul, said in a statement. 

Felix & Paul is an immersive studio based in Montreal, Canada whose originals include the "Space Explorers" series, productions with franchises like "Jurassic World" and comedy specials for "Just for Laughs" starring celebrities like Trevor Noah and Lilly Singh.

If you're looking to get your feet wet with virtual reality, consult our best VR headset guide for immersive gaming, virtual cinema experiences or interactive workouts. Our review of the Oculus Quest 2 gave it a near-perfect 4.5 stars, making it our favorite headset right now.

Follow Elizabeth Howell on Twitter @howellspace. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom or Facebook. 

Join our Space Forums to keep talking space on the latest missions, night sky and more! And if you have a news tip, correction or comment, let us know at:

Elizabeth Howell
Staff Writer, Spaceflight

Elizabeth Howell (she/her), Ph.D., is a staff writer in the spaceflight channel since 2022 covering diversity, education and gaming as well. She was contributing writer for for 10 years before joining full-time. Elizabeth's reporting includes multiple exclusives with the White House and Office of the Vice-President of the United States, an exclusive conversation with aspiring space tourist (and NSYNC bassist) Lance Bass, speaking several times with the International Space Station, witnessing five human spaceflight launches on two continents, flying parabolic, working inside a spacesuit, and participating in a simulated Mars mission. Her latest book, "Why Am I Taller?", is co-written with astronaut Dave Williams. Elizabeth holds a Ph.D. and M.Sc. in Space Studies from the University of North Dakota, a Bachelor of Journalism from Canada's Carleton University and a Bachelor of History from Canada's Athabasca University. Elizabeth is also a post-secondary instructor in communications and science at several institutions since 2015; her experience includes developing and teaching an astronomy course at Canada's Algonquin College (with Indigenous content as well) to more than 1,000 students since 2020. Elizabeth first got interested in space after watching the movie Apollo 13 in 1996, and still wants to be an astronaut someday. Mastodon: